Game# 73 – Dominating with the King’s Gambit Accepted

King's Gambit Accepted

The King’s Gambit Accepted is my primary defense against e4 e5 openings. White sacrifices a pawn for the initiative and tries to mobilize his pieces quickly to attack the Black king. The positions that arise from a KGA are complex and require accurate calculation from both sides. The theory is quite dense, and for those interested in learning more about this opening, I suggest John Shaw’s great book, “The King’s Gambit” available on Amazon.

This game was played on my Millennium eOne board. It’s the perfect companion to play Internet chess using a physical chessboard.

My opponent was determined to play this game to the bitter end. This is a common theme in amateur chess – never resign, because your opponent is likely to blunder away their advantage. There is some truth to this statement but you would think that a two piece, three pawn deficit would secure a resignation from even the most hardened opponent. Not in this case.

Attacking with the King’s Gambit Accepted

Player – Player
Opening [ECO CODE]
Time controls

Post-game analysis

Understand thematic ideas in the opening. Regardless of what opening you play, make sure to understand the thematic moves that the position calls for. In this game, the move h4 came out of order from the main line, but it was still important in giving White a strong initiative. The King’s Gambit Accepted is an opening that requires you to understand moves, not memorize them.

Play like you are behind. Overconfidence is an amateur chess player’s greatest weakness. No matter how much material you have, always look to see what your opponent is planning. Concentrate. Pretend you are the one who is behind in material. Ask yourself, “If I were my opponent, how would I get back in this game?” Amateur players tend to lower their sense of danger when they get a winning position. Paranoia is your friend. Don’t assume your opponent has given up – mine certainly didn’t. I mean, look what happened in this game!

Don’t obsess about checkmate. While we all want to mate our opponent’s king, we have to realize that this is not always possible. Sometimes a chess position calls for the winning of a central pawn or the occupation of a key square. Checkmate is not always on the menu. Learn to appreciate a position that gives you dominating square control instead of trying to force a mating sequence that isn’t there.


The King’s Gambit Accepted is a tough opening to play against. You have to understand some of the key ideas behind it or you will wind up in trouble very early. In this game, Be6 was a dubious move that created a bunch of weaknesses in the Black camp. A simple developing move like Nc6 or a defensive move like h6 would have been perfectly acceptable alternatives for my opponent. “Measure twice and cut once” are words to live by. Look at what your opponent if trying to do and try to defend.

From the white side of the King’s Gambit Accepted, mobilizing your pieces is worth more than a pawn, or in some cases – a whole piece! The King’s Gambit Accepted will teach you the concept of compensation, which simply means the placement of your pieces and the squares they control are often worth more than the material count on the board.

Have you been on the losing side of a King’s Gambit Accepted? What do you think about the opening? Please share in the comments below.

Please consider purchasing the Millennium eOne. It is a great companion for those of you wanting to play slow chess on a physical board. You can order the eOne at the Chess House.